Exotic Pet Surgery Catered to Meet the Needs of Your Exotic Pet

As a dedicated exotic animal hospital, we have advanced training on a vast array of avian and exotic pet surgeries. Our commitment to elevating the care of these unique friends makes us especially interested in using the most advanced safety and anesthetic procedures. We hold memberships to the Associations of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians, Avian Veterinarians, and Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians. Whether you come from Metairie or somewhere else in the Greater New Orleans area, rest assured your exotic pet is in good hands at Avian & Exotic Animal Hospital of Louisiana.

Tropical bird

The Right Equipment for Your Exotic Pet’s Size

Many exotic pets are smaller in size than traditional pets and the right surgical equipment enhances patient safety. Small mammal, reptile and avian pet surgery at our practice benefit from the use of specialized magnifying tools, a heated surgery table and a temperature controlled recovery cage. Additionally, for birds, we use microsurgical instruments that are of reduced size to provide for better surgical success. Regardless of the surgery or the size of your pet, our exotic pet hospital in Metairie is equipped with a wide selection of tools to provide your pet with the best chance for a positive surgical outcome.


Tailored Surgical Care

The needs of each exotic pet are individually assessed throughout their stay with us. We recommend and have the ability to perform same-day IN-HOUSE blood panels for surgical patients. Each patient and surgical suite is carefully prepared before surgery and stress is minimized using safe-handling and sedation techniques. Anesthesia used and the balance of electrolytes given during surgery are based off the type of pet you have and their state of nutrition. These are just a few of the individual factors we consider during surgery. If you have any questions about exotic pet surgery on your pet, don’t hesitate to reach out.

After Your Pet’s Surgery

As many exotic pets are sensitive to stress, it’s important to follow after-care instructions and schedule a follow-up appointment. Additionally, instructions can vary widely depending on the type of pet surgery and animal so heed closely. Once your pet is safely ready to go home, a member of our experienced team addresses your pet’s after-care instructions. A follow-up appointment will be essential for your pet, so we will schedule that at the time of check-out. If you suspect your pet is not healing as expected or you have any concerns, contact us right away. Your pet’s health and well being are extremely important to us.


June B.

Dr. Rich is winner of the Oxbow Exotic Mammal Health Award, lecturer at many Exotic veterinary conferences, and deeply involved in local area projects. Twenty years have passed and in that time I cannot begin to count the number of rabbits treated there, all with the best of care. My job as a rescuer of rabbits has been made easier with the support of Dr. Rich, Dr. Pence and the Staff.

Rick R.

I have been dealing with the Avian & Exotic Animal Hospital of Louisiana (formerly West Esplanade Veterinary Clinic), Dr. Rich and Dr. Pence, since 2006. They are the premier exotics only vet in the Gulf South and one of a small handful that are experienced with chinchillas. Every chinchilla surrendered to us is taken there for a comprehensive wellness check-up. Many have been treated for a variety of conditions, both minor and serious. After having more than 100 chinchillas seen there, I could not be more pleased with the competency, courtesy and caring exhibited by everyone there. Many of our animals are enjoying happier and healthier lives because of Dr. Rich and Dr. Pence.

Tom and Tracey L.

We have been breeders of exotic parrots since 1998. Dr. Rich and staff are our first and only stop to make sure the breeders we buy are healthy. The professionalism of Dr. Rich and his staff far exceed our expectations. Regardless the outcome of the exam we know we can trust the results and advice given by Avian & Exotic Animal Hospital of Louisiana (formerly West Esplanade Veterinary Clinic). The clinic is always clean and the staff friendly. We highly recommend all clients set up an appointment to meet Dr. Rich and/or Dr. Pence. Don’t wait until it’s an emergency. Well visits are very important to maintain healthy happy animals. We are very fortunate to have such well respected, professional and caring exotic veterinarians in our area.

Ashley G., DVM

Dr. Rich is the avian expert! The clinic is state of the art, the boarding facility has large, clean cages and the team is very caring. It's with great confidence that I refer my avian patients to Avian & Exotic Animal Hospital of Louisiana (formerly West Esplanade Veterinary Clinic).

Karen and Steve M.

My family and I have been associated with Avian & Exotic Animal Hospital of Louisiana (formerly West Esplanade Veterinary Clinic) for 14 years now. Dr. Rich has received countless awards for his many accomplishments. He is forward-thinking; always in touch with the latest technology and procedures. His leading edge approach has kept my exotic pets healthy and happy!

Maurice G. and Brenda B.

In June 2013 we opened Bon Temps Ferret Rescue and shortly after contacted Dr. Rich at Avian & Exotic Animal Hospital of Louisiana (formerly West Esplanade Veterinary Clinic). Living almost three hours away, we had questions before making the trip with some of our little ones rescued from various situations. Dr. Rich, Dr. Pence and their staff have taken time to return our calls regardless of what day of the week. We have brought in ferrets with varying degrees of medical needs and have always been served in the most professional and caring manner, not only for the ferrets but for us as well in some critical times."